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Did you survive Halloween?

 

And here is November … chilly, darker … not my favourite month of the year I have to admit. However, I always try not to let the outside world and circumstances affect my mood and thoughts. So when I feel low, I remind myself of all the things I am grateful for … my family, my dogs, my business, my morning coffee, my relaxing bath, my runs with the dogs … because when you feel grateful you can’t feel sad as your heart is filled with love and warmth.

I’m also very grateful for where we live … no neighbours, no walking distance from the town, no trick or treaters … do I sound horrible? Selfish? No, I just like peace and quiet … and I like my dogs to have quiet and feel calm too.

For some dogs, banging on the door, laughing kids, lots of noise, and scary costumes can be terrifying. And for them, Halloween is literally spooky. Some of these dogs come to us during the fireworks and Halloween season for boarding, as we don’t have fireworks here and we can hardly hear them from the town. And also the extra care with Comfort Blend, tuning forks or massage is always available for extra comfort.

Another thing that popped into my head over Halloween … dogs in costumes … I have mixed feelings about it 😕. I’m fine with a warm coat or a waterproof coat, when appropriate. And I know they look super cute in their costumes, especially the little ones, but how do they feel about it? Do we know? How do dogs take it when we laugh at them? Are they laughing with us? I recently read an interesting post on Facebook from Dr. Isla Fishburn:

“I am not a fan of putting any animal in fancy dress, colouring their fur, painting their nails or other forms of human preening that some may replicate on their dog. I work very naturally and in a sacred way that respects every dog as an animal that requires choice and nothing more than connection.

Of course, I equally pass no judgement on to others. If you really must dress your dog in fancy dress, dye their fur, paint their nails etc then PLEASE ask yourself why, look at the deeper symbolism and sacredness that your dog holds as an animal. If you do decide to do any of these things, then PLEASE, PLEASE be confident that your dog feels proud and comfortable rather than unhappy or humiliated.

Our dogs can and do tolerate ALOT from us and can be very forgiving with what we ask of them, but all animals deserve to be ASKED what makes them comfortable, to know they have a choice and to LISTEN to them rather than be forced into situations they’d rather not do.

Please be respectful. Please be fair. Please think about how your dog might feel before any and every decision you make for your dog – your dog has an opinion too!”

What is your thought?

If you don’t know Isla, check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kachinacanine/

And if you have a chance to go to one of her talks, don’t miss it!

Jitka xx

Make a Difference Day

 

Just recently I found out that each year in the US they celebrate something called Make a Difference Day. It’s celebrated on the fourth Saturday in October and this year Make a Difference Day falls on Saturday, October 27th. Make a Difference Day is the largest national day of community service and is a celebration of neighbours helping neighbours. The event was created by the USA WEEKEND magazine in 1992.

Where we live, we only have one neighbour, which is really good 😊 … with many dogs and a boarding kennel as well, you don’t want to be surrounded by too many other houses. Thankfully we do get on really well and we help each other when we can.

But when I found out about Make a Difference Day, it got me thinking about what difference I am making and what else we all can do? I really hope my products are making difference in the lives of the dogs and their owners’, to live happier and healthier thanks to natural care.

Vita Canis Style to Rescue made a difference to the rescue centres and their dogs as we were able to donate over £4,400. We’re already preparing for next year’s event and have 42 competitors signed up, and a few stands booked too! I’m also hoping to get some really good speakers for next year to add to the programme. And the heart warming bonus is that the rescue centres that came this year; Hessa’s Homeless Hounds, Many Tears, and Wheels To Paws UK, are coming again next year. Yay!!

A few days ago I found another way I could make a difference when I saw this post on Facebook:

My first ecobrick is growing slowly, and that’s good

“It’s taken me nearly three weeks to fill one bottle with un-recyclable plastic. Every week we were having to throw out so much plastic that couldn’t be recycled which in my eyes is just criminal. Our world is being destroyed by plastic and our wildlife killed. It’s not right. When I found out about ‘Ecobricks’ I immediately got on board. All you have to do is fill an empty water bottle with clean, dry un-recyclable plastic and these can then be used to build indoor furniture, gardens, structures… the list goes on. The amount I have crammed into this one bottle is crazy!! Would be amazing for as many people as possible to get on board and start making ecobricks too, we need to all take responsibility for our wonderful world and do our bit to make a positive change. #ecobricks

Info on how to get involved and a full list of the currently available drop off locations is available on the ‘Ecobricks UK’ Facebook page. Please have a look and give them a like!
*The website www.ecobricks.org has currently crashed due to such a high volume of people trying to access it since my post, so please be patient – the team are working on it.

All info is posted on the ‘Ecobricks UK’ Facebook page. Since my post went viral they have had a sudden influx of new members so it’s taking the admin members some time to get all the FAQs set up. There is a full list of the currently available drop off points across the UK on the Facebook page.

Remember, to make a good quality ecobricks, fill it with clean, dry and un-recyclable plastic ONLY and make sure you jam pack it all in to make it as heavy and dense as possible.

Make changes to your weekly shop by reducing the amount of plastic you buy where possible. It’s best not to buy any plastic at all in the first place however, this is extremely difficult in this day and age I know!! So, buy as little plastic as possible and recycle whatever you can before making your ecobrick (lots of plastics that usually get thrown in the bin can be recycled at most of the big supermarkets) e.g. plastic carrier bags, freezer bags, stretchy plastic, the bags the toilet rolls come in, plastic bread bags, plastic magazine wrapping, thin bags for fruit and veg – please recycle these where possible and just use the non-recyclable plastic for your eco brick.

If you are planning a school/community project once you have enough filled ecobricks, there is a lot of ideas available on google images if you do some searching.

I hope all this helps you on your ecobrick journey!”

I am already filling a bottle with unrecyclable plastics. I’m happy to say that there are not many in our household, but still there is some … and it’s annoying. Why must a bunch of bananas be sold in a plastic bag? Or avocados? Or apples, or even wrapped up broccoli next to unwrapped ones?

Well, anyway … I will carry on making a difference the way I can, and to do my best. I think if we all do this, our planet will at least have a fighting chance.

How about you?

Jitka xx

 

Viva, Espana!

 

This October John and I had a short break in Spain. Nothing special to do, just relax, catch up on sleep and enjoy the Spanish food and sunshine.

Driving from Alicante airport to Los Alcazares in the Murcia region we noticed large fields of olive trees, orange trees, lemons … I hadn’t realised how much Spain is a largely agricultural country until I got there. After a little bit of research, I discovered that Spain produces crops like wheat, barley, vegetables, tomatoes, olives, sugar, beets, fruit, grapes, and cork.

Once you get here you really can’t miss the olive trees … they are everywhere and delicious olives are served with pretty much everything. Olive oil and olives are one of the pillars of Spanish cuisine and the experts say that Spanish olive oil is one of the best in the world.

Because of its amazing benefits you can find olive oil in our butter.

Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. It, therefore, protects the skin from premature aging (I’m thinking to have a bath in it at least once a week, lol!). It restores skin smoothness and prevents free radical damage to the skin.

Spain also produces some of the essential oils you can find in our products:

Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limonum)

Essential oils have all been used effectively throughout the ages to repel insects, and lemon essential oil is one of them. You can find this liquid yellow essential oil, with its characteristic citrus smell, in our Insect Repelling Citrus Spray. This fruit is cultivated, grown mainly in Murcia, and grows in spring.

Cistus Hydrosol (Cistus Ladaniferus) or Rock Rose

Has a soothing, woody and amber smell. Because of its healing and regenerative properties you can find it in our Soothing Antiseptic Spray. Suzanne Catty states that Cistus Hydrosol is astringent, cicatrisant, styptic and is useful for wound and scar care as well as in anti-wrinkle prevention and plumping skin [Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2001), 84-85.] This plant is completely wild and it grows in June.

Orange Essential Oil (Sinensis)

This essential oil is orange coloured and has a fresh herbaceous citrusy smell. The smell of orange essential oil reminds us of happy moments and brings pleasant thoughts to mind. It creates a happy, relaxed feeling and works as a mood lifter, which is perfect to combat depression or anxiety. This is why you can find this essential oil in our Calming Floral Spray and Insect repelling Citrus Spray.

Jitka xx

Can dog groomers express the anal glands, plug the ears, etc.?

A friend of mine, Joanne Angus, a very well-known and respected person in the dog grooming industry, approached RCVS for some clarification on whether dog groomers can express the anal glands, plug the ears, etc.

This was their response.

————————————————

Dear Ms. Angus

Thank you for your recent email regarding whether professional dog groomers can take the temperatures of dogs using a rectal thermometer.
To assist you, you may find it helpful to review Chapter 19 of the RCVS’s Supporting Guidance to the Code of Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons which deals with the treatment of animals by unqualified persons such as dog groomers.

As you will be aware, the practise of veterinary surgeons is limited to veterinary surgeons. For the avoidance of doubt, “veterinary surgery” means the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine as defined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 ‘the Act’ under which the RCVS operates. This includes the diagnosis of diseases in, and injuries to, animals including tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes, the giving of advice based upon such diagnosis, the medical or surgical treatment of animals and performance of surgical operations on animals. However, there are a number of exemptions under the Act which allow other people such as laypersons to carry out minor medical treatment.

The College does not have formal guidance on the topic of taking temperatures of dogs using a rectal thermometer, but we have sought advice from internal committees which have stated this particular task can be undertaken by laypersons such as dog groomers following suitable training from a veterinary surgeon.

May I also take this opportunity to clarify the position regarding anal glands expression and ear plucking by dog groomers.

In terms of internal expression of the para-anal sacs per rectum, it is correct that lay people such as dog groomers cannot undertake this task. This is because it amounts to the practise of veterinary surgery and therefore may only be undertaken by veterinary surgeons or registered veterinary nurses or student veterinary nurses working under the “direction” of their veterinary surgeon employer.
Conversely, external expression of the para-anal sacs may be undertaken by competent lay people such as dog groomers or owners. However, the procedure should have been demonstrated and explained to them by a veterinary surgeon (and the frequency of emptying). If a para-anal sec problem is suspected, the animal should be seen by a veterinary surgeon for confirmation of diagnosis and advice regarding necessary treatment. Routine prophylactic expression should only be undertaken on the advice of a veterinary surgeon.

With regards to ear plucking, the College is of the view that the external meatus may be cleaned by a lay person such as a dog groomer and removing minor hair/debris from a non-infected ear can be undertaken by lay person as this would not usually be considered an act of veterinary surgery. However, if there is an ear infection or a possibility of a ruptured ear drum, cleaning/plucking should be dealt with by a veterinary surgeon.

I hope the above information is able to help.

Kind regards
Standards and Advice Officer
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

———————-

I would also add if your dog groomer refuses to express the anal glands or plug the ears, de matt, the reason could be as simple as that a dog doesn’t like it. These procedures are not always nice and some dogs get really upset. As dog groomers we are trying to build relationships with dogs based on trust, without hurting or upsetting the dogs.

If we need to spend approximately 2 hours with them they need to be spent in harmony, with mutual understanding and respect. And sometimes it is a long distance run…

Jitka xx

Pumpkins & Presents

I am so excited to take a part in this autumnal gathering of maker & sellers. P&P is dog friendly and last year I went and visit with Rosie & Jasmine. This year  I am taking my stand… and maybe Rosie, as she likes to help.

If you are interested in gardening, home décor, food, hand made stuff, come to The Oak Lambing Barn, Lower Farm, Sheldon nr. Bakewell, DE451QS, this weekend 6th &7th October 2018, 11am – 4pm.

The proceeds from selling seasonal soups, cakes and treats will do to Dogs Trust.

And bring along your carved pumpkin to win a prize!!

Do we have time for other hobbies?

 

Life is happening so fast … we have our work, our families, our dogs, and not always time for hobbies and other activities. If you’re lucky like me your work is your hobby as well and sometimes you don’t even realise you’re working overtime, and you don’t mind starting early and finishing late …

However, there are a few things I like to do outside of what I do normally. I have always loved, and still do, drawing and painting and I can’t remember the last time I held a brush. It must be at least 8 years ago now? I just need to chunk some time out and do it.

My ‘kind of’ newest hobby, or activity, is running. I started just over a year ago, and was shocked at how quickly I was out of breath and that I couldn’t run as far or as fast as I thought I could! But slowly I’ve built my strength and started to run a bit faster and a bit further. Then I started taking my Lakeland terrier, Tinker, with me. She would always get ever so excited when she saw the lead and me putting my trainers on. However, when I got the harness out she would freeze… and still does. I tried to motivate her with some treats, a toy, and nothing worked … with the harness on she refuses to walk and if she moves for some reason she looks like a beaten animal…

But now we are at the stage where she will run (whooohooo) with her harness on but the lead has to be attached to her collar, not her harness.

In July I took her for a 5km charity Mud Run, to raise money and support for the Battersea Dog & Cat rescue home. We had so much fun together and Tinker did really well. For the first time she was pulling me and thanks to her I ran a little faster. It was a real team effort on the day!

Now Tinker is in season I’ve started running slowly with Richard, our almost 1-year-old Airedale terrier. He gently trots next to me which is really nice. Last night we went to join the Shropshire Canicoss group in Telford, a beginners run, and we tried some pro harnesses, got some advice and just enjoyed a fun run with other newbies. You can check our Facebook  and Instagram social pages for our updates and progress.

Another activity I enjoy is hiking, and since I moved to the UK I haven’t done much of it. So next year I’m taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge. I’m already very excited and training hard. I’m going to raise money for a charity but haven’t decided which one yet? I already support the Soi Dog Foundation, so I was thinking about the Humane Society International … or shall I go for smaller dog rescue centres?

What would you do? Do you have any suggestions for a worthy cause? It has to be dog/animal related of course! Leave me a comment below with your idea/s!

Jitka xx

What People Say...

Just to let you know we LOVE the Comfort Blend we got from you at Crufts. The girls love the smell and try to lick it, and I find walks are a lot calmer these days. THANK YOU!! Calming Floral Spray is next on my list and maybe a burner with some stones.”
Savannah and Jasmine are  two lovely Italian Greyhounds, and you can find them on Instagram @sister.iggies.ig